“The report rightly highlights the important work of the fire sector in responding to the pandemic. Fire authorities are proud of their work in responding to the pandemic and supporting their communities. I also want to thank all those firefighters and other staff who volunteer to help save lives and reduce the pressure on the NHS."
Latest government figures show that attacks on firefighters in England have surged by 66 per cent in four years, from 578 in 2014/15 to 961 in 2018/19. The number of firefighters injured following attacks during this period have soared by 175 per cent, from 24 to 66.
"The LGA shares the Committee’s view that three years after the Grenfell Tower fire, the remediation of dangerous buildings is proceeding too slowly. Social landlords have been quick to address the issue, but progress in the private sector has been unacceptably slow."
Following the unprecedented Agreement reached on 26 March between the Fire Service National Employers, National Fire Chiefs Council and Fire Brigades Union, it has today been agreed to add a further three areas of work to reflect the scale of the national crisis and the urgency of the response required. Firefighters will be able to:
Assist in taking samples for COVID-19 antigen testing
Drive ambulance transport not on blue-lights (excluding known COVID-19 patients) to outpatient appointments or to receive urgent care
Provide driving Instruction by FRS driver trainers to deliver training
For the first time, all three stakeholder groups have agreed a joint national approach to the crisis. The fire service organisations say that the measures in the agreement reflect the scale of the national crisis and the urgency of the response required.
Under the agreement, firefighters will be able to:
Deliver essential items like food and medicines to vulnerable people
Drive ambulances and assist ambulance staff
Retrieve dead bodies, should the outbreak cause mass casualties
Firefighters will continue responding to core emergencies, such as fires and road traffic collisions
Cllr Ian Stephens, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Fire Services Management Committee, responds to the second tranche of a national report on fire and rescue services by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.